Impact of the Village Model: Results of a National Survey

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2017 Jul;60(5):335-354. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2017.1330299. Epub 2017 May 16.


Villages are a relatively new, consumer-directed model that brings together older adults in a community who have a mutual interest in aging in place. These membership organizations provide social and civic engagement opportunities, volunteer provided support services, and referral to vetted community providers to achieve their primary goals of promoting independence and preventing undesired relocations. This cross sectional survey of 1,753 active Village members from 28 Villages across the US measured members' perceived impacts in the areas of social connection, civic engagement, service access, health and well-being, and ability to age in place. Results showed that involvement in the Village was a key factor associated with greater perceived impacts. Over half of members perceive that the Village has improved their sense of connection to others and their feeling that they have someone to count on. Though younger members in better health were more likely to perceive impacts in social connections, results suggest older women, living alone with some disability may be the most likely to experience improved health, quality of life, and mobility. The implications for social work practice are discussed.

Keywords: NORCs/Village models; aging in community; evaluation research.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Community Participation / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States